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Pietila powers Braves to sweep over OTC

Al Pietila threw a two-hitter and went 7 for 8 at the plate with six RBI in leading the Menahga baseball team to a Park Region Conference doubleheader sweep over Ottertail Central Friday at Henning.

In the first game, Pietila went 4 for 4 with four RBI to spark Menahga to an 10-7 victory.

Singles by Matt Horsma and Ed Salmen set up a two-run double by Pietila, an RBI double by Mitch Peterson and an RBI single by Lars Keranen for a 4-0 lead in the third inning. A single by Canton Matson, an RBI double by Horsma and a two-run single by Pietila made it 7-3 in the sixth before Keranen, Graham Skoog and Matson scored the final three runs in the seventh.

Horsma went 2 for 4 with two runs as the Braves finished with 11 hits. Thomas Litzau earned the win, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on two hits and five walks while striking out seven. Salmen recorded the final two outs for the save.

In the second game, a 14-hit attack and Pietila's complete game led Menahga to an 11-1 win in five innings and the sweep.

Pietila singled and scored on Peterson's RBI triple in the first, Horsma singled and scored on Cory Haataja's RBI double in the second, and Litzau doubled and scored on Peterson's grounder in the third before a pair of home runs spared a six-run fourth inning. Pietila blasted a two-run homer, Peterson doubled and scored on Keranen's two-run homer, and Matson doubled and scored on Horsma's two-run single. Pietila singled and scored on Peterson's RBI triple in the fifth to end the game early because of the 10-run rule.

Pietila went 3 for 4 with three runs, Peterson went 3 for 4 with three RBI and Horsma went 3 for 3. Pietila allowed one unearned run on two hits and four walks while striking out 10.

Menahga opened last week by dropping conference games to Parkers Prairie and New York Mills. Both those games lasted only five innings because of the 10-run rule.

The Braves were held to only two hits in an 11-1 loss to Parkers Prairie on May 8.

Peterson singled and scored Menahga's only run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Pietila's double in the fifth was the only other hit.

Isaac Anderson started and took the loss, allowing eight runs (two earned) on seven hits over two innings. Charlie Steidler-Thompson and Keranen finished up, allowing three runs on three hits. Eight Menahga errors led to eight unearned runs.

A seven-run second inning sparked New York Mills to a 13-3 win over the Braves on May 9.

Matson, Anderson and Steidler-Thompson scored Menahga's runs in the fourth inning. Peterson went 2 for 3 as Menahga was held to four hits.

Skoog started and surrendered six runs on two hits and five walks over 1.1 innings. Peterson pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and three walks.

Parkers Prairie remains in first place in the conference standings at 11-1 while Wadena-Deer Creek is 9-3. Menahga (11-5 overall) and New York Mills (8-5 overall) are tied for third place at 8-4. Pillager is 6-6, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale is 5-8, Sebeka is 2-10 and OTC (0-15 overall) is 0-13.